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High Refractive Error Risk Increased for Offspring Exposed to HDP

Risk increased for offspring born to mothers with hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, with highest risk seen for early-onset and severe preeclampsia

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Offspring prenatally exposed to maternal hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP) have an increased risk for high refractive error (RE) in childhood, according to a study published online April 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Meiyan Li, M.D., Ph.D., from the Eye & ENT Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, and colleagues examined the association between maternal HDP and overall and type-specific REs in offspring during childhood. Data were included for 104,952 cases of maternal HDP, including 70,465 preeclampsia or eclampsia and 34,487 hypertension cases, and for 2,432,469 mothers without HDP.

The researchers found that during follow-up of up to 18 years, 0.90 and 0.64 percent of offspring of mothers with HDP and without HDP, respectively, were diagnosed with RE. At 18 years of age, the cumulative incidence of high RE was higher in the exposed versus the unexposed cohort (1.12 versus 0.80 percent). The risk for overall high RE was increased for offspring born to mothers with HDP (hazard ratio, 1.39). The elevated risks were seen for hypermetropia, myopia, and astigmatism (hazard ratios, 1.41, 1.30, and 1.45, respectively). The increased risk for high RE was significant for offspring aged 0 to 6 and 7 to 12 years, but not for those aged 13 to 18 years. The risk was highest for offspring prenatally exposed to early-onset and severe preeclampsia (hazard ratio, 2.59).

“Early screening of ophthalmic RE should be recommended for offspring prenatally exposed to maternal HDP, especially those of mothers with severe and early-onset preeclampsia,” the authors write.

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